Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

Road Trippin' to the Hog Wild Rodeo 2012 - Conesville, Iowa

Written by  June 30, 2012

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is always a good time for me to head for Iowa. On May 24, Kansas City weather was warm with the wind absolutely howling out of the south. This is not a bad thing when northbound, and at my gas stop in Osceola, I found that my gas mileage was well in excess of 50 miles per gallon.

From that point on, I had a strong crosswind from the right as I headed east on Highway 34 toward Washington, Iowa. I arrived at the residence of my buddy Zick just as he was getting home from work.

 {igallery id=8775|cid=28|pid=1|type=category|children=0|showmenu=0|tags=|limit=0}

After a good evening’s visit and night’s sleep at Zick’s, my home base for the weekend, I headed east another 20 miles or so to take in the Hog Wild Rodeo, the first of two big biker bashes put on annually by the Circle of Pride M/C on their property between Conesville and Columbus Junction. The event flyers caution, “If nudity and vulgar language offend you, stay home.” This is good advice, as these are anything-goes, old-fashioned biker blowouts. Upon arriving at the rally location, I was pleased to encounter Terry Orr, an old friend and fellow photographer. 

One of the main attractions at the Hog Wild Rodeo is crazy motorcycle drag racing on the 1/8-mile strip. The racers have the opportunity for test and tune runs on Friday prior to Saturday’s eliminations in various classes. Charlie the “F*ck Man” is the track announcer, earning his nickname from the colorful language he uses while describing the races and taunting the riders of metric bikes. Several smoky exhibition passes were made by a V8-powered trike. Saturday’s opening ceremonies were conducted on the drag strip. Following the singing of The Star-Spangled Banner, a V.F.W. color guard marched down the strip followed by a group of current military personnel and veterans who had been invited via an announcement over the p.a. system. They received a resounding, well-deserved ovation from the large audience lining both sides of the strip.

Competition was not limited to the drag strip. On Saturday afternoon, exotic dancers demonstrated their considerable skills on a stage surrounded by an appreciative audience. The dancers began their performances wearing micro bikinis supplied by Wicked Weasel, the event sponsor, but the tops didn’t stay on long. In most cases, the bikini bottoms had also been tossed aside by the time the music stopped. If pole dancing were an Olympic event, some of these dancers might well be members of the national team. The cash prize that went to the winner, determined by audience applause, was funded by Circle of Pride as well as donations from the crowd. She also received a large trophy.

The presentation of awards for the morning poker run, the bike show, and the races took place following the conclusion of the drags. Trophies, plaques, and cash prizes were handed out by Possum, founder and president of Circle of Pride M/C. Wapello County Customs was well represented in the bike show with three entries build by Roger Borror. One was a pro street trike, and the other two were radical two-wheelers. Roger’s Best in Show winning military-themed chopper is being raffled off in support of the Wounded Warrior Project with the drawing to be held December 12, 2012. Visit the Wapello County Customswebsite to donate or to purchase raffle tickets.

During the break between the awards presentation and the evening activities, I was invited by Dan, one of my photographer friends, to visit a camping area occupied by several of his friends, some of whom had participated successfully in the drag races. It was a very enjoyable and relaxing time and was much appreciated.

Other rally entertainment included live music in three different venues (Possum Lodge, One-Eyed Jacks, and the main stage) on the grounds, a comic hypnotist, clothing-optional riding on Bob the naughty mechanical bull, late night “What T-shirt?” contests, and shopping at the many vendor booths. Once again, the Circle of Pride club did a great job of making sure there was plenty of entertainment to be enjoyed by all. Their next big biker bash, Thunder in the Sand, will be held during the Labor Day holiday. Check out their website for more information.

Since the schedule at the rally was light for Sunday, I decided to spend the day hanging out with Zick and other friends. I had opportunity to gather some information for a future Cycle Connections article about Zick’s experience building his one-of-a-kind Shovelhead bobber. We shot some photos at his house before riding over to the local cemetery to visit the graves of loved ones. Later, friends joined us for a putt through the countryside around Washington. Sunday evening, Zick hosted a fish fry/pot luck dinner attended by several friends. Frank’s fish and jalapeno poppers were enjoyed by all. Several of the same group accompanied me on the first part of my Monday trip back to the Kansas City area. I enjoyed the company and the opportunity to travel some different roads as I headed home. Unfortunately, the wind was still strong from the south. Oh well, having a tailwind in both directions was probably a bit too much to hope for. I’m looking forward to my next Iowa trip when I will be riding to Algona for the Freedom Rally sponsored by A.B.A.T.E. of Iowa.



Photojournalist/Account Representative - Kansas City, MO

Dave Baxter, a.k.a. Stripe joined our staff in December, 2003, as a photojournalist. If that road name sounds familiar, you may have seen his photos on the pages of such publications as American Iron, V Twin, VQ, In the Wind, and Easyriders. Stripe attends as many rallies, bike shows, and charity runs as he can and is a major contributor of photos and articles to our magazine. His first assignment was our January, 2004, cover photo, where he snapped the awesome photo of a 1958 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide. A rider since the age of 14, he loves to help and encourage new riders. Stripe enjoys meeting new people and looks forward to catching many of our readers in the viewfinder of his digital camera. Contact Stripe at stripe@cycleconnections.com